What are some famous long-distance hiking trails like the Appalachian Trail or Pacific Crest Trail?
1. Continental Divide Trail (CDT)
The Continental Divide Trail (CDT) is one of the most challenging long-distance hiking trails in North America. Stretching over 3,100 miles from the Canadian border to the Mexican border, it follows the Continental Divide of the Americas. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the CDT:
- Location: United States (Canada to Mexico)
- Total Length: Approximately 3,100 miles
- Time Required: Typically 4–6 months
- Terrain: Diverse, including mountains, deserts, and forests
- Route Overview: The CDT begins at the border of Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park and winds its way through the Rocky Mountains, crossing five U.S. states: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. It eventually ends at the Mexican border.
- Challenges: The CDT is known for its rugged and remote terrain. Hikers must be prepared for river crossings, high mountain passes, and challenging weather conditions, especially in the Rockies.
- Permits and Regulations: Research and acquire the necessary permits for different sections of the trail, as regulations can vary by state and land management agency.
- Resupply Points: Plan your resupply points carefully, as some sections can be very remote. Popular towns along the trail for resupply include Silver City, New Mexico, and Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
- Navigation: Carry maps, a compass, and a GPS device to navigate the trail, as it can be poorly marked in some areas.
- Water Sources: Water availability can be an issue in some stretches, so know where reliable water sources are located.
- Wildlife: Be aware of wildlife encounters, including bears and mountain lions, and take appropriate precautions.
- Leave No Trace: Follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment. Practice responsible camping and dispose of waste properly.
- Weather: Be prepared for rapidly changing weather, especially in the high-altitude…